Most of us feel hungry at times other than the main meal timings. The main question then arises as what to eat without increasing the caloric value of the day and that which gives both satiety and provides good nutrition? Most of my clients, mainly those who are on diets, pose this question on a regular basis.
Here I am with 5 healthy snacking options that can be eaten without adding many calories but are nutrient dense:
- Fruits: Most fruits give not more than 80 calories in 100 gm and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber in fruits not only increases satiety, but also helps to, improve the bowel movements, boost intestinal micro-flora and keep the gut healthy. The vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants and help to remove free radicals from the body and make the body’s immune system strong. About 200 to 250 gm of fruits should be taken at one time.
For more information on benefits of fruit consumption read http://www.healthynudgez.com/home-banner/consume-fruits-vegetables-every-day-keep-doctor-away/
- Nuts And seeds: Nuts like almonds and walnut and seeds like pumpkin seeds, watermelon and melon seeds and flaxseeds have good nutritional benefits. Nuts are rich sources of un-saturated fats, high in good quality vegetable proteins, fiber, minerals, and anti oxidants and are low in carbohydrates. Seeds are good sources of fiber and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Both nuts and seeds are good for heart, lower cholesterol levels and have a very low glycemic index. They are good for both the gut and brain health and improve concentration, boost the immune system and keep one satiated for long periods of time. Can be taken as raw or after soaking with the peel. Soaking for a period of 8 hours make the nutrients in nuts and seeds more available for digestion in the gut. About 15-20 gms (1 table spoon) of nuts and seeds are sufficient in one go.
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- Boiled or Sprouted Lentils and whole pulses: These are high in vegetable protein, B group of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. They are high on satiety due to the presence of high amounts of fiber and protein. Sprouting and boiling makes the nutrients easily available to the body by softening the outer covering. B group of vitamins present in lentils aid in digestion and act as coenzymes. This group being low in carbohydrates is also low in glycemic index. Can be taken as such or after adding vegetables, fruits and lemon, can even be steamed for easy digestion. About a table spoon of boiled or sprouted lentils are sufficient to give required satiety and nutritional benefits.
- Cottage Cheese (paneer): Low fat cottage cheese is low in calories and fats. It is a high protein, high calcium and low carbohydrate snack. It also has vitamin B12, and therefore is a good snack, breakfast or meal option especially for vegetarians suffering from B12 deficiency anemia. Although, it is devoid of fiber but due to its high protein content it keeps one satiated for long periods. About 30 gm of low fat cottage cheese can be taken in one go. It can also be added to salad without increasing the calories much.
- Yogurt (curd) : Being a milk product curd also is high in protein and calcium, but has an added benefit of being predigested, so is easy on the gut. Curd can be taken by adding fruits, vegetables or as such. It also has a low glycemic index and keeps one satiated for long. About a small bowl or 125 gm of curd is sufficient for one snack time.
For more nutritional facts and benefits of Yogurt(curd) visit: http://www.healthynudgez.com/home-side-post/curd-elixir-good-health/
All the above given snacks can be taken by diabetics, heart patients, people suffering from high BP or with hyperlipidemia, and weight watchers.
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